Monday, March 2, 2015

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 12: Remember



Episode 12: Remember

These recaps are just a discussion tool and a chance for me to geek out about my favorite show and do some over-analyzing. Maybe throw out a few theories. Remember, spoilers run rampant below. Don't read if you haven't watched!


The episode begins right where the last one left off, with the group at the gates of Alexandria, preparing to enter. As they do, Karl sees a strange girl in a nearby window, but she's there and gone, and he doesn't say anything about it. As the door slides open, Daryl hears something and turns and kills a possum. He picks it up, announcing they've brought dinner. This obviously unnerves Aaron and another guy who meets them at the gate named Nicholas, who both look vaguely panicked.

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The group enters, the door closing behind them, and are immediately asked to surrender their weapons, which they refuse to do. Rick says they aren't sure if they're staying, and Aaron tells Nicholas to let them keep their weapons for now, until they've spoken to Deanna, who is apparently their leader. 

Next we see Rick looking around a very clean, pre-zombie-apocalypse-looking house. Deanna is a middle-aged woman with a very calm, no-drama presence. She asks Rick if she can film their talk. Seems a little creepy to me, but she tells him that she films everyone who comes in, in the interest of transparency. Rick agrees. Actually, I think he just doesn't care one way or the other. On film, he sticks out against the backdrop of the house as very grubby. Almost rougher in appearance than Daryl, like a caveman in a modern mansion.

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Deanna tells Rick that her community was originally built as a "green" community of mansions that each sold for upwards of $800,000. She was an Ohio congresswoman and when the crap hit and everyone was being evacuated, some people were redirected there. Deanna and her family were some of the first, and they started building the wall. 

She asks Rick was he did before, but he says it doesn't matter. She insists that it does. Her husband was an architect, which was why he could build the wall. So at Alexandria, it does matter what you did before, because you'll end up being given a "job." When Rick asks why she's suddenly letting people in (she says they're the first people that have been considered for bring in in a long time), she tells him that her people have never lived outside the walls before. They need others like Rick's group who have. Rick tells her that she shouldn't be letting in, because most people will just use her for whatever she has that they want. She asks him if that includes his group, and his answer is evasive. This will all end up being key in what Alexandria is and how Team Family reacts to it, I think. But more on that below in the theories section. 

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Deanna tells him what time it is, and that's it time to choose whether or not he wants to stay. He winds his watch, presumably setting the right time, and tells her he used to be a sheriff. She says she thought it might have been something like that. Somewhere in there, she also tells him that she's done bad things. When he asks what, she says she's exiled people from the community who haven't worked out, and she knows that's as good as a death sentence. Really, simple exile isn't that bad. Certainly Team Family has done worse things. So the question is, is this just ignorance on her part, because she's been relatively sheltered behind her walls? Or is there more to it? I'd say there's more, but again I'll talk about that below.

Rick okays the group to give up their weapons, which they do. They're told they can come get them whenever they want, but the Alexandrians prefer them not to actually carry inside the walls. Two things about this: Everyone has so many weapons, the Alexandrians are obviously taken aback. Then Carol starts being weird. She takes a long time to take her gun off, and acts like she's injured. She mimics the same injuries she got when she and Daryl went off the bridge in Atlanta. Now, maybe they aren't healed all the way, but it's been more than three weeks, and we haven't seen any sign of them in the past few episodes, so this was kind of strange. She also smiles really big at everyone. On anyone else it might have been friendly. On her, it's a little creepy.

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Aaron gives Rick two houses, side by side, saying there's plenty of room and they can have them both. I love how he mentions curb appeal and Rick looks at him like he's insane. :D Aaron says the other residents of Alexandria have been instructed to give them their space for now. Team Family begins to explore the houses, but they're all obviously mistrustful of how clean and free and easy it all is. 

Rick shaves. Holy cow! We haven't seen him without a beard in so long! He looks so different! But not in a bad way. A woman named Jesse shows up at his door with a basket of food she was instructed to bring over. She tells him she used to be a stylist and can cut his hair. He's suspicious, but lets her. I wish he hadn't cut his hair. His beard was definitely in need of a shortening, but I liked his long hair. Anyway, there seems to be some chemistry between these two and rumors are rampant on the internet that they may start some kind of relationship. Guess we'll see. 

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Daryl is the next to be filmed by Deanna. He comes across as more nervous than Rick. He won't even sit down. He says Carl and Judith deserve a roof, he guesses. He obviously isn't thrilled with the amenities of Alexandria. Next we see him gutting the possum on a sparkling clean white porch. Poor Daryl. He's so not in his element here. 

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Team Family decides to spend the first night all in one house, rather than splitting between the two, just in case. While exploring, Carl finds that someone has been hanging out in the attic of one of their houses. That someone has left behind blankets, food, and (I think) comic books. That evening, Deanna visits, sees that they're all staying together, but doesn't seem to judge them for it, saying that it's smart and they're being careful. This might be more convincing if it didn't so closely mirror Gareth's condescension when first arrived at Terminus. This is where Deanna tells them she will have jobs for them, though she doesn't know what they'll all be yet. She knows what she wants Rick and Michonne to do, and probably Sasha, but she's trying to figure out the others first, especially Daryl. He pointedly looks out the window, ignoring her. LOL. She doesn't tell them what jobs she has in mind yet. 

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When Michonne is filmed, she's the first one to be positive, saying that they're all ready for this community and want to be here.

The next day, Rick wants to explore with Carl and Judith. He asks Daryl to come, but Daryl declines, saying he'll stay there. He's obviously not into this place. He still seems almost as depressed as he was back in episode 10, when we saw him so heavily mourning Beth. He still hasn't bounced back to his normal self, and doesn't seem keen to contribute to the community. Rick tells Daryl that he and Lori used to drive through rich neighborhoods like this one. By the time he starts exploring, he's lost sight of Carl and Judith. He runs through the streets in a panic, looking for them. Jesse sees him and asks what's wrong. When he tells her, she tells him to calm down and she knows where they probably are. She takes Rick to the house of an elderly couple who have lost all their children and grandchildren and are fawning over Carl and Judith. Jesse tells Rick that most people in Alexandria haven't seen a baby in a long time, and this sort of thing will probably happen a lot at first. He thanks her and she asks if Carl can come over and meet her boys, who are about Carl's age.

Carl meets her two boys and a girl, Enid, who apparently only came into the community a few months ago. She's very anti-social, but the two boys are just all kinds of normal, wanting to play video games and talking about school, listening to music, and how their parents are "at work." You can tell Carl doesn't really know what to make of them, or how to react to this utter normalcy. These kids are the ones whose stuff he found in the attic. They apologize, saying they didn't know that would be the house Rick's group would be getting, so they were hanging out there. The girl won't talk to or look at Carl, (pretty sure she was the girl he saw in the window as they were coming in) so he agrees to play video games.

Carl and Judith are filmed by Deanna. Karl tells her that he killed Lori.

Later, Carl asks Rick what he really thinks of Alexandria. Carl says he likes the people, but that they're weak, and if the group stays here, he's afraid they'll become weak as well. 

That night, Rick goes out to walk after dark. A disembodied voice calls out to him from a porch. The man is sitting in the dark smoking (maybe he and Daryl will be pals?) and he tells Rick he is Jesse's husband. This sort of threw me through a loop because of the rumors of the Rick/Jesse dynamic. Will her husband die? Will they have an affair anyway? Don't know, but I didn't expect her to be married. Her husband says "Welcome to Alexandria" in an all-kinds-of-creepy way, and we really don't want to trust him, you know?

Carol is next to be filmed. *Moment of hilarity* Carol lies through her teeth about who she is. She talks about how she only ever did laundry and housework, how much she loved her husband, and how she's really a weak member of the group (the den mother), but thankfully they've been willing to protect her. She smiles too big again and says she's a real people person. LIAR! Then we see her come out of the house dressed in nice pants and a pastel cardigan. She tells Daryl her new job is cooking for the older people and giving parents a break when they need it. She says she'll get to meet and know people that way. 

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Yeah, Daryl totally judges her. He's sitting on the porch, messing with his crossbow, not looking any different than he did on the road. He looks her up and down like she's wearing the stupidest thing in the world.  She asks if he's showered yet. He says yes, but it's obviously a lie. She tells him to shower or she'll hose him down in his sleep. He tells her she looks ridiculous. The only thing I can think of here is that Carol just wants the Alexandrians to underestimate her. She doesn't want them to know that she can totally take their heads off (or, you know, set them on fire) if she chooses. Probably a really smart strategy, but makes for some hilarious banter between her and Daryl.

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Glenn is also filmed. Meanwhile, Rick ventures outside the walls. At first it seems like he's just checking the perimeter, but then he ends up in the woods, at that tiny little cabin where he hid the gun inside the blender. Carl meanwhile, sees Enid walk past his window, climb the wall, and leave the compound. Given that he saw her outside the walls just as the group came in, it's obvious that Enid sneaks out of the compound regularly. Carl follows her. Or tries to. He loses her in the woods and gets all dejected about it. Made me smile. I think Carl might get his first girlfriend. Just sayin'. Eventually he ends up at the cabin where Rick is. When Rick looks for the gun he hid, it's gone. There's no way to know who took it. The Alexandrians? Is Morgan wandering around nearby? Or maybe it was Enid? This particular mystery isn't solved this episode. But, some walkers show up and Rick and Carl have a kill session before heading back toward Alexandria's walls.

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Meanwhile, we have another interesting situation playing out. Nicholas, who met the group at the gates when they came in, and another guy who introduces himself as Aiden, single out Glen, Tara, and Noah, saying they want them to help with supply runs. Now, Glen is an obvious choice, as he's always been the "go-to-town" guy. And Tara is probably a good choice too. But why Noah? He has a heavy limp. He can barely walk, if we're being honest, and definitely can't run, as we saw in Atlanta, so why send him on missions outside the walls? Wouldn't it be better to find him a job inside the walls where he won't be limited by his physical handicap? I just thought this was a really odd choice.

Aiden and Nicholas say they're going to take everyone on a dry run. They won't be getting supplies, but will just take them outside the walls to see how they do with the terrain, etc. He tells them that they have to follow the rules and do everything he tells them while outside the walls. Glen, Tara, and Noah immediately agree. They probably figure they're the new people, so they'll be low on the totem pole for awhile, and heaven knows they know about working together when in dangerous situations. Nicholas and Aiden give them each a gun, which they describe as "sweet biscuits" for the run. Glen, Tara, and Noah give them weird looks. I'm not sure if it's because they're used to much sweeter guns, or just because they'd rather have their own weapons. Maybe it's both. Either way, their looks are kind of priceless. 

This is where things get interesting. While outside the walls, Aiden starts talking about why they need help with supply runs. He says the people that used to do it were good people who always followed the rules, but even so the Alexandrians have lost four people in the past month. Now, on the surface, this doesn't seem weird. I mean, it's The Walking Dead, and Team Family has lost three people just since the start of the season which, to them, was probably only a little more than a month ago. But, if you stop to think about it, this is actually a bit strange. Two out of three people Team Family has lost were killed by people, not walkers (Bob by the Termites, although admittedly he was also bitten) and Beth by accident at Grady. Tyrese was bitten. Still, if Aiden's people were all awesome survivalists who "always followed the rules" and did what he said, how did he lose four people in a month...on supply runs? Yeah, if they were swarmed by walkers, it could definitely happen, but it seems a bit excessive.

Aiden tells Glen and co that they've tied up one of the walkers that killed their people and want to go find it. He says something about a "ritual" before they do a run. I'm assuming they just use a walker for target practice or something to get themselves hyped up. Of course Glen and co aren't happy about this. It borders on the collective sociopathy of Woodbury, and look how that turned out. When they get to the designated place, they only find a bloody hook, which means the walker has pulled itself free somehow. Aiden and Nicholas want to find it, telling Glen and co to stay back. The walker shows up, of course, and they just sort of bat it around for awhile. Then it comes dang close to biting Tara, so Glen kills it. And...Aiden gets mad at him for it. Really dude?

As they get back to Alexandria (about the same time Rick and Carl are returning) Glen and Aiden are arguing. Glen isn't impressed with how Aiden is handling the runs. Aiden retorts that he told them to stay back and they are supposed to do whatever he says when they're out there. To which Glen replies that if they do that, they'll just as screwed his earlier crew. (Burn!) Eventually Aiden throws a punch, but Glen isn't just a pizza delivery boy anymore. Aiden hits the ground instantly. When Nicholas jumps in, Daryl comes out of nowhere and tackles him. When Aiden gets up, Michonne is right there in his face, asking if he wants to end up on his butt again. This was great! Best scene of the episode. I was laughing hysterically. This is why we love Team Family so much. It's always nice to see them being loyal to one another, and watching them knock down people who threaten anyone in the family is just icing on the cake. I think I speak for the entire fandom when I say, they need to put Glen in charge of supply runs.

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Rick and Deanna both jump in to keep the fight from getting out of hand. Aiden asks Deanna why she "let these people in." That seems to be full of meaning, but we don't get any more explanation of what she means. Deanna announced that Rick's group is part of the community now, as equals, and they need to be treated that way. She then tells Rick what his job is. She wants he and Michonne to be constables for the community. Rick looks wary, but agrees. Michonne looks downright ecstatic. I think she's excited to be Rick's "partner." Kind of cute. These two really need to just get married already. Anyway.

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The constable thing is strange for a couple of reasons. We haven't seen many people in Alexandria yet. Maybe there are more than what we've seen, but it feels like there are a whole lot of empty houses. And, with the exception of petty squabbles like the one between Aiden and Glen, it doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of conflict between the residents. Constable implies major law enforcement. So, are they anticipating the need for a major, effective presence? Or is something else going on behind the scenes we haven't seen yet?

As soon as Rick and Michonne accept their "jobs," Daryl walks away, looking angry.

Later that night, Rick comes down the stairs of their house looking very much like he did in the first season--all cop. He looks around at everyone before heading onto the porch. Daryl is out there and Carol joins them. Rick asks Daryl if they're okay, to which Daryl says yes. Then Carol echoes Carl's earlier sentiments, saying that if they stay in this place, it will make them weak. Rick says that if the residents at Alexandria can't cut it, his group "will just take this place." Dun, dun, dun! Is it just me or did Daryl perk up a bit at this? Not sure why he's angry about everything. Maybe it's just that he's still grieving and not with it yet. But maybe he also felt like everyone was getting too comfortable too fast. This is the first obvious indication Rick has given to his group that he's really not trusting this place yet. He's just feeling it out and deciding what he wants to do.

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Okay, theory time. So I kind of doubt that this place is like Terminus. I don't think they've brought in the group to do them harm. Not only does that seem too obvious, but in terms of story telling, that's already been done. And it's already been done this season, with Terminus. So, assuming that's not the case, why would they invite a group like this in? Team Family doesn't exactly scream friendly and outgoing. What they do scream is survivors. So, based on what I know happens in the comics, and how these people are acting, I'd say that the Alexandrians have made some not-so-funny enemies and don't know what to do about it. They went out looking for a group of survivor types so that they could invite them in and use them to take care of the problem, whatever it is. 

That would explain not only the invite, but why Deanna would want Rick in a position of authority, why they're losing so many people on supply runs, why Deanna insists that who they were before is so important, why this is the first group they've considered inviting in. Maybe Deanna exiling people was worse than  just exile because being on the outside meant they'd have to deal with whatever this danger or enemy is that we haven't seen yet. That first conversation between Rick and Deanna is telling.
Rick: "I've killed people. I don't even know how many by now. But I know why they're all dead dead. They're dead so my family, all those people out there, can be alive. And so I can be alive for them."
Deanna: "Sounds like I want to be part of your family."
Ah, the things that make you go hmmm. So that was it for this episode. I'm super excited for this story line, though. I think a whole lot of drama is coming Rick's way. Obviously things won't remain as tranquil at Alexandria as they now seem. Can't wait to see where this goes and who their newest enemies will be.

Random adorable behind-the-scenes pic! Source
What did everyone else think of this episode?

8 comments :

  1. Rick shaving his beard freaked me out. Carol made me laugh—I love how her character has evolved—and I will always love Daryl Dixon.

    And I think your theory as to what's going on in Alexandria is a good one. I, too, can't wait to see where this arc will lead.

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    1. Yeah, Rick looked SOOOO different without the beard. Like a whole new person. But hot. :D Thanks for stopping by, MJ. I love finding and talking with fellow TWD fans! :D

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  2. I loved this episode. I haven't loved an episode so far this season (especially the first), but this one was excellent--the taped recordings were a great way to show an "outsider's" perspective of the group juxtaposed with what WE know about the group. (I laughed so hard at the Carol bit).

    Great theory. I hadn't been thinking that (I also haven't read any of the comics), but that sounds plausible, and why there seems to be...no one...in this community. And I'm also super curious about the gun...it's a random place for someone to just be scavenging and find it (in that time frame). It logically must have been someone who either knew Rick was hiding a gun or someone who had been watching him...

    As for the scavenger group taking out Glenn, Tara, and Noah...I'm thinking that guy, Aiden, was probably going off of appearances & stereotypes, taking who he thought were the weakest. (Or was it Deanna who picked their jobs in this particular case?) Cause, logically, it would make sense to bring Daryl or Abraham just from appearances. Which goes to show...don't underestimate THE FAMILY. Badass ending. Agreed. Great recap!!!

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    1. I'm not sure if Deanna picked Glenn, Tara and Noah for this job. Given that they made a point of showing her asking Rick and Michonne to accept theirs, I tend to think not. You make an interesting point about Aiden. I hadn't thought of it that way. If that's the case and he's choosing those he thinks are weak, he's kind of like a dumbed down (read: less canabalistic) version of Gareth, isn't he? That's a major theme this season: other people thinking the group are weak and then being in for a huge shock. Thanks so much for stopping by. I love discussing the show with fellow TWD fans! :D

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  3. It was such a good episode. I loved Carol's interview the most, that smile. Oh man. The kill session with Rick and Carl was creepy, like the small taste of suburbia was too much for them and they needed a hit of some zombie killing. The girl who climbed over the fence is worrisome. Is she scouting Alexandria for a group and pretending to be a stray? And Rick is freaking me out more than anyone else. Mostly I'm loving Carol's approach to the whole thing.

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    1. I love Carol's approach as well. Yeah that Enid girl was kind of interesting. I wonder whether she'll turn out to be friend or foe. It is interesting that she disappeared just before Rick and Carl had the walker kill session. What was she doing all that time? And it doesn't seem like anyone keeps an eye on her or cares that she's leaving. That's odd to me as well. Thanks so much for commenting. I love talking to fellow TWD lovers! :D

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  4. Oh, Carol was hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing during her act, it was so smooth.

    I got the sense that Daryl was seeing this as a kind of return to normalcy-- and he really didn't like it. Before the apocalypse, he was his racist brother's sidekick and didn't have the best life ever (I'm remembering his Never Have I Ever game with Beth). In the new post-apocalyptic world, he's respected and relied on, and knows he's a very valuable member of his group (and a good leader at times). I don't think he would ever say he was happy about the zombie rising happening, but I think he feels like returning to this sort of pre-apocalypse style of life robs him of his place and purpose.

    I had a similar idea about the Alexandrians facing some threat that they can't handle. That makes so much sense. It also explains why they're so keen to make Team Family feel like they belong. Asking them for protection would be a gamble, but asking them to protect the community that they're a part of is much more likely to pan out.

    For the constable job, I saw that as an optimistic-towards-the-future sort of thing. If they have a real community that continues to grow, eventually there will be a need for law and order. Of course, if her son picks fights all the time, maybe they need cops to handle that sort of thing now!

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    1. I agree about Daryl's mentality. Hopefully he can find his niche there. And about the constable thing. I think if the community continues to grow, Rick will end up being the all-out leader, even more than Deanna. And let's hope so. That way he can put Glen in charge of supply runs, rather than Deanna's son. We all know he's a much better choice. :D Thanks so much for stopping by! :D

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